Dear Church Family,
As I write this note for the month of September, I write with great hope that by the time you read this we will be on the downhill side of another wave of the COVID-19/Delta Variant surge. This time around we here in Tillamook County have been hit hard. It is sobering to hear that the local morgue (Waud’s Funeral Home) is bringing in a refrigerated storage trailer because they have been filled to capacity. We see this type of news in places far away but not here at home. We have taken a two week, self-imposed “shut down” to try to do our part in keeping each other and our community safe. I’ve used this phrase, “strange times indeed”, way too many times.
Fear or faith is what is being said. What if I were to say that for me it is, “neither”. It is a pandemic, and it is a physical disease. I have neither fear (though I definitely do not want to get it) nor is a matter for faith, (for my faith is built on nothing less than “Jesus’ blood and righteousness”). Personal health decisions do not need to be based on either fear or faith but on facts. Facts are not easy to come by these days. I am a student of the Bible and not virology, public health was not my course of study. But I still think we can find the truth if we look for it.
Fear? Of somethings sure. But not with COVID-19. Whenever I think about fear, the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. come to mind. Words from what is called his mountain top speech, on the evening before his murder. “We've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord”.
The book of Hebrews has a passage that is called the “two mountains” passage. Hebrews 12:18-24. One mountain is a physical one, like Mt. Sinai in the times of Moses. “Flames. Darkness. Gloom. Whirlwind.” Frightening for sure, “Moses himself was so frightened at the sight that he said, ‘I am terrified and trembling”. Verses 18-21. The other mountain? The one that I want to climb? That one is Mt. Zion! “Countless angels. Names written in heaven. God Himself. The spirits made perfect. Jesus”. “You have come to Jesus”. Verses 22-24. He is on the One who casts out all fear and that is a fact of faith!
I don’t know what the near future holds for us or for the church. It seems that this would be a good day for the LORD to come. But until He does keep climbing the right mountain, keeping coming into the presence of Jesus. If we continue to do this, we will have nothing to fear.
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name: you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up, the flames will not consume you. For I AM the LORD, your GOD, the HOLY ONE of Israel, your SAVIOR”. Isaiah 43:2-3
I believe we will get through this. I have been to the mountain top (Mt. Zion) and have seen the promise land.
In His Matchless Love,
Tim Mayne, pastor